Jacksonville (Florida):Where the Metropolis Melds with Nature

Jacksonville is a big metropolis and regional business hub found in northeastern Florida. Where the St. John’s River meets the Atlantic Ocean, Jacksonville offers picturesque bodies of water and majestic beaches. Jacksonville is indeed a popular destination for both swimming and surfing alike. It also brings numerous museums and cultural offerings where visitors can immerse themselves and get a taste of what this place can offer.

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Jacksonville (Florida):Where the Metropolis Melds with Nature:table of contents

1. Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary

Photo by Clint P. George

Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary is a non-profit organization. Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary for bobcats, coatimundis, cougars, foxes, horses, leopards, lions, and tigers. Their primary focus is to rescue of cats from critical situations. Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary renders a safe, loving and forever home to these endangered big cats. They aim to educate the public about these wildlife animals’ plight while in the wild and in captivity. They cater both the public tours and school tours. They offer Daytime Tours and Night Feeding Tours which last for approximately 40-45 minutes each.

2. Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens

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Next in the list is the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens. Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens is situated at the mouth of the Trout River. Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens boasts its 2,000 rare and exotic animals, 1,000 plant species and an expanding number of special attractions. You’ll never get bored as there’s always something new to see and do here. The facility is neat, clean, and beautifully decorated making each part of every species feel like they’re home and in the wild.

3. The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens

Photo by Liz

The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens is a museum that was established in 1961 after the demise of Ninah Cummer, who bequeathed her gardens and personal art collection to the new museum. The Cummer Museum carries one of the first-rate art collections in the Southeast. They maintain nearly 5,000 objects in their Permanent Collection.

4. Little Talbot Island State Park

Photo by Stacy Rackley

Little Talbot Island State Park is a Florida State Park found on Little Talbot Island, 17 miles (27 km) northeast of Jacksonville on State Road A1A. The park stretches up to 2,500 acres. The Little Talbot Island State Park boasts its five miles of beautiful, white sandy beaches. Their popular park activities include hiking, kayaking, beachcombing, surfing and picnicking.

5. Kingsley Plantation

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Kingsley Plantation is a former estate named after the previous owner, Zephaniah Kingsley who resided there for 25 years. The focal feature of the Kingsley Plantation is the owner's house, which is believed to be built between 1797 and 1798 and is cited as the oldest surviving plantation house in Florida. The Kingsley Plantation includes the slave quarters, barn, waterfront, plantation house, kitchen house, and interpretive garden.

6. Atlantic Beach

The Atlantic Beach lies across the Northeast Florida. You’d appreciate the section of their beach that is flat, sandy and uncrowded. The Atlantic Beach covers miles of laid-back beaches with close proximity to nice golf courses, parks and to the huge energetic city of Jacksonville. Atlantic Beach is the ideal destination for both the surfers and kayakers alike. Here, you get to experience the resplendence and pacing of the beach-life, as well as the in-town neighborhood feel. You’d wish you live here.

7. EverBank Field

The EverBank Field is an American football stadium located in Downtown Jacksonville, Florida. The TIAA Bank Field was originally named as Jacksonville Municipal Stadium and formerly known as Alltel Stadium and EverBank Field. The TIAA Bank Field is the home stadium facility of the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL). It is where important events take place including the annual Florida–Georgia game, a college football rivalry game between the University of Florida and the University of Georgia, and the TaxSlayer Bowl (formerly the Gator Bowl), a post-season college bowl game. The TIAA Bank Field is also a venue where the United States men's national soccer team play.

8. St. Johns Town Center

St. Johns Town Center is an upscale open-air mall with sprawling shopping establishments. Established on March 18, 2005, the St Johns Town Center houses over 100 stores. St. Johns Town Center boasts its high-end and luxury retailers including The Apple Store, Arhaus, Coach, Dillard's, Louis Vuitton, Mayors, Nordstrom, Omega, Sephora, Tesla, Tiffany & Co., Tory Burch and Williams-Sonoma. Food crawlers out there must watch out. As much as it is fashion-forward hub, the diverse palate would not disappointed with their exhilarating options such as The Cheesecake Factory, The Capital Grille and Cantina Laredo.

9. Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park

Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park features its 1.5 miles of sandy beach with multiple access points. Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park’s beach is a renowned premier surfing spot in Northeast Florida. The park provides a long trail where you can frolic and roam around on a bicycle. Furthermore, Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park offers camping such as tent camping and RV camping. The Kathryn Hanna State park campgrounds have fully equipped campsites for any type of camper. They rent out cozy cabins as well. What you’ll love about this park is that their beaches are dog friendly, whilst their campground allows two dogs per site.

10. The Florida Theatre

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Founded on April 8, 1927, The Florida Theatre was recognized by the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on November 4, 1982. As much as being a nonprofit organization, The Florida Theatre adheres to their mission of enhancing the North Florida community’s quality of life through rendering diverse and indelible arts and entertainment experiences, as well as preserving an idiosyncratic historic Jacksonville landmark. The Florida Theatre hosts 200 cultural and entertainment events annually. From ballet and opera to contemporary pop, jazz, rock, country and blues, they desire to cater every taste and age. The Florida Theatre is also the city’s favorite events venue for graduations, awards ceremonies, lectures, business meetings and charity events.

◎ Closing

Where the island life and the city life meld together, vacationers can shuffle between relishing the nature’s gifts and enjoying the perks and convenience of the city life. Being surrounded by marvelous pristine beaches, indeed Jacksonville never fails to astound its visitors. History, leisure plus fun, visit Jacksonville and experience the culture and beyond.

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